What Happened to Windows 9?

In case you haven’t been paying attention, Microsoft is releasing a new version of Windows, going from Version 8 to 10, and the quick answer to my question is another question: “Why should you expect a Windows 9? When was Microsoft ever known to assign operating system numbers sequentially?”

To prove my point, I went back and checked. There have been variations and minor editions, but the versions of Windows of consequence for desktop computers are: 3.0, 3.1, Windows for Workgroups, NT, 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, and now 10. Not exactly a straight line.

(So if ever you’re doing one of those “sequence” test, you’ll know the answer to “what comes next: NT, 95, 98, ME …”)

There are a few possible answers I was able to find for skipping 9. One of them is that 9 is apparently considered to be unlucky in Japan. Another one is that there are hard-coded instructions in Windows to check for if the operating system number starts with 9, intending to treat 95 and 98 as special.

Another theory is that Microsoft simply wants to create more distance between version 8 (actually 8.1 if you want to be technical) and the new release. 9 just seems too much like a small step whereas 10 seems like a whole new operating system. When XP was retired, a lot of organizations migrated to Windows 7 even though 8 was available. And many who do use Windows 8 do so in “Windows 7 mode”, with a task bar at the bottom. (Remember the “where is the Start Button” brouhaha?)

I’m buying that last one. Microsoft is hoping Version 10 will be taken more seriously.

There’s a Lot to an Exchange Server Upgrade

One of our employees is off to Meteghan River this weekend in the beautiful (full disclosure: I’m from there) Acadian district of Nova Scotia. He is doing an Exchange Server upgrade for a client who is moving from Exchange Server 2003 to Exchange Server 2013. Simple, n’est-ce pas? Copy files from A to B and Bob’s your N’Oncle.

Well as it turns out, you can’t get to there from here quite that easily. There is no direct route from 2003 to 2013, and you must go via an interim install of Exchange 2010 running on a Windows Server 2008, which you do in a virtualized environment. Then you have to migrate all the user mailboxes, then decommission the old Exchange 2003 server, then install the new Exchange 2013 server (which needs a new version of Windows Server, by the way), then migrate the files again from 2010 to 2013, then decommission the Exchange 2010 server.

Then test everything. Oh, and there can be no downtime for email while all this is going on.

I know Orin’s up to the task. And he’ll get well fed while he’s down there.


Windows 8 is an Operating System for Any Device

Some of you might remember the commercial about “two mints in one.”

Windows 8 is a bit similar in that it is two operating systems in one, the traditional mouse and keyboard operating system and a new touch-enabled operating system.

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Personal Computer Legacy Applications Will Be Around For Some Time To Come

Towards the end of each summer, I participate in the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s “star party” at Smiley’s Provincial Park, a weekend of camping, star gazing, and lectures. It allows my inner geek to roam free, unencumbered by the constrictions of the corporate world, and it feels good.

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Hey, I just won a $7,000 Prize

Guess what, my entry won this contest! Worth $7,000 of free marketing from Starshot (Microsoft).

The contest was:

Write a brief synopsis between 500 and 1500 characters on why Windows 7 is a great business opportunity for you.

What I wrote was:

We are an IT consulting firm, and the only company based out of Atlantic Canada that belongs to Microsoft’s Partner Excellence Program. So we are always looking for ways of leveraging our respective brands to find more consulting work for us, and licenses sold for Microsoft. One such way is via a monthly technology column I write for the largest newspaper in the region. In October, right around the launch of Windows 7, I wrote a column on Windows 7 that was well received. I then put this article on my blog (see, and now I have old-fashioned and viral marketing at work!

And what we won is:

What can $7,000 in marketing services do for your business? It can mean more demand generation, more event and telemarketing campaigns, a marketing program designed specifically for your business—quite simply, more chances to find new customer opportunities!